Documentary "Guardians of Memory"

New documentary about the Russian Memorial society, the history of its liquidation and the extremely difficult situation in which its employees found themselves after the start of full-scale Russian aggression against Ukraine. Many of them were forced to leave Russia, some ended up in the Czech Republic.

Guardians of Memory, 2022

Written, directed and edited: Tomáš Polenský
Idea: Štěpán Černoušek
Camera: Tomáš Polenský, Petr Juračka, Igor Suvorov
Production: Tereza Soušková
Dramaturgy: Vojtěch Dudek
Sound Mix: Pavel Matyáš

© © Memorial ČR

For more than thirty years, the Russian Memorial Society has been studying the history of Soviet repression and documenting numerous evidences of human rights violations in the USSR and in modern Russia. Thanks to this work, the names of three million victims of Soviet terror became known.

Now Memorial is going through extremely difficult times: at the end of 2021, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation liquidated the parent organization and several of its branches, and after the start of a full-scale war of Russia against Ukraine, the situation worsened even more. Many Memorial employees are in danger. What should they do next? And how can the Czech Republic help them?

The premiere of the film took place on Monday, October 24 at the Prague cinema Evald (Národní 60/28, 110 00 Nové Město).

The film is also available for viewing on YouTube.

Past screenings

  • 5 March 2023 - Prague (Municipal Library)
  • 21 February 2023 - Ústí nad Labem (Public Hall Hraničář) *17 February 2023 - Domažlice (Pivovar Cultural Centre)
  • 7 February 2023 - Opava (Faculty of Public Policy)
  • 25 January 2023 - Písek (Library)
  • 10 January 2023 - Ostrava (Centrum Pant)
  • 23 November 2022 - Liberec (library)
  • 16 November 2022 - Prague (Gymnázium Arabská)
  • 4 November 2022 - Prague (Kulturus fest)
  • 24 October 2022 - Prague - premiere of the film, cinema Evald
  • 20 October 2022 - Brno - preview
  • 19 October 2022 - Olomouc - preview

To organize a film screening in your city, contact us at

Photos from the premiere of the film

The premiere took place in Prague on November 24, 2022 at the Evald cinema. In addition to the filmmakers, it was also attended by some protagonists - the executive director of the International Memorial Jelena Zhemkova, the chairman of the Memorial in Perm Robert Latypov and the director of the Memorial's library Boris Belenkin.